If you are like me, you are low income. It doesn’t matter why, but you are and sometimes you need things to prevent your quality of life from dipping too much. Like a decent pair of eyeglasses.

Zenni Optical was brought to my attention by one of the residents at the clinic I interned at. The staff is remarkably skilled and it was my privilege to be able to work with them for 300 hours. Anyway, they serve many low-income folks and, instead of them sending them to their optician to look at frames, they recommended taking the up to date prescription and plugging it in at Zenni to get a good pair.

What you need

  • Your eyeglasses prescription. Get it however:

Dig it up from your paperwork

Call the last place that did your exam and pick it up

Pay for a new eye exam, decline fitting, and take the paper

  • Your pupillary distance

This is likely on your script somewhere. Look for “PD” and the number behind it. Otherwise, try this.

Here’s what you do:

Make an account at Zenni.

Plug in your prescription. I won’t go into the details of why and how scripts are written the way they are and how cool it is. Just plug in the values exactly as you see them. OD (ocular dexter) is the right eye and OS (ocular sinister) is the left. Sphere, cylinder, and axis for each. 

It should look like this: 

Now shop for some glasses and order. 

Cheapest pair is about $7. Shipping is a flat $4.95 no matter how many pairs you order. Sales are often so, sometimes, shipping is free.

You can also order prescription sunglasses! Just make to order a regular pair in whatever frame, import the prescription you plugged in, and choose Add Standard Lens Tint. 

I recently order my sunglasses because my eyes are going to boil out of their sockets. Took about a week. Came with a lens wipe cloth, PD ruler, and a case. Lenses are accurate and the frame doesn’t feel cheap or unbalanced. 


Seriously just got prescription bifocal sunglasses through these guys, and they are fucking amazing.